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India Heat Wave Kills Hundreds

Doctors were warning Indians to stay out of the sun as temperatures climbed higher and higher across India in a heat wave that has left nearly 500 people dead, news reports said Friday.

Hot, dry winds swept New Delhi, the country's capital. The streets were empty, and children on school holiday abandoned playgrounds.

In eastern India, the mercury shot to 118.5 Farenheit (48 Celsius) in some parts of the state of Orissa, which recorded 112 deaths from the heat, Press Trust of India reported. Nearly 493 deaths nationwide in the last month have been attributed to the weather, the agency said.

Indians, particularly those with diabetes or other illnesses, were cautioned to stay indoors and to consume plenty of water, salts, and sugar.

The capital recorded the hottest May temperatures in 54 years Thursday, with a high of 116 F (46.5 C). Temperatures have been at least 115 F (46 C) the last several days, and hospitals report an increase in the number of patients suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Riots broke out in parts of the capital this week as citizens, frustrated over frequent power outages and water shortages, took to the streets and attacked offices of government-run electricity offices.